I find it an interesting cultural phenomenon that coffee, like most things we purchase and use, is consumed without much thought about where it comes from. For example, having 25+ coffee origins to choose from is a pretty amazing thing that the average coffee shopper doesn’t bat an eye at. Coffee comes from somewhere, and not anywhere close to where most of us live.
The reality of coffee is that it is grown in some of the poorest places in the world and being a coffee farmer is often a hard life with many obstacles. Coffee rust (or la roya in spanish speaking countries) is one of those obstacles. It is destroying farms and thus the subsistence of entire families.
Whether it is through an increase of price or a particular coffee not being available anymore, coffee rust effects all specialty coffee drinkers in some shape or form. Further up the coffee chain are many in the coffee industry that have strong relationships with coffee farmers and seeing them lose everything is hard.
Here is a synopsis of what coffee rust is as well as something you can do to help.